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Become A Personal Lines Underwriter

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Working As A Personal Lines Underwriter

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Personal Lines Underwriter Do

Insurance underwriters decide whether to provide insurance and under what terms. They evaluate insurance applications and determine coverage amounts and premiums.

Duties

Insurance underwriters typically do the following:

  • Analyze information stated on insurance applications
  • Determine the risk involved in insuring a client
  • Screen applicants on the basis of set criteria
  • Evaluate recommendations from underwriting software
  • Contact field representatives, medical personnel, and others to obtain further information
  • Decide whether to offer insurance
  • Determine appropriate premiums and amounts of coverage

Underwriters are the main link between an insurance company and an insurance agent. Insurance underwriters use computer software programs to determine whether to approve an applicant. They take specific information about a client and enter it into a program. The program then provides recommendations on coverage and premiums. Underwriters evaluate these recommendations and decide whether to approve or reject the application. If a decision is difficult, they may consult additional sources, such as medical documents and credit scores.

Underwriters analyze the risk factors appearing on an application. For instance, if an applicant reports a previous bankruptcy, the underwriter must determine whether that information is relevant to the current policy. The underwriter would consider how far in the past the bankruptcy occurred and how the applicant’s financial situation has changed since the applicant filed for bankruptcy.

Insurance underwriters must achieve a balance between risky and cautious decisions. If underwriters allow too much risk, the insurance company will pay out too many claims. But if they don't approve enough applications, the company will not make enough money from premiums.

Most insurance underwriters specialize in one of three broad fields: life, health, and property and casualty. Although the job duties in each field are similar, the criteria that underwriters use vary. For example, for someone seeking life insurance, underwriters consider age and financial history. For someone applying for car insurance (a form of property and casualty insurance), underwriters consider the person’s driving record.

Within the broad field of property and casualty, underwriters may specialize even further, into commercial (business) insurance or personal insurance. They may also specialize by the type of policy, such as insuring automobiles, boats (marine insurance), or homes (homeowners’ insurance).

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How To Become A Personal Lines Underwriter

Employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. However, insurance-related work experience and strong computer skills may be enough. Certification is generally necessary for advancement to senior underwriter and underwriter manager positions.

Education

Most firms prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business, finance, economics, and mathematics are particularly helpful.

Training

Beginning underwriters usually work as trainees under the supervision of senior underwriters. Trainees work on basic applications and learn the most common risk factors. As they gain experience, they become responsible for more complex applications and work independently.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Employers often expect underwriters to become certified through coursework. Courses are important for keeping current with new insurance policies and for adjusting to new technology and changes in state and federal regulations. Certification is often necessary for advancement to senior underwriter and underwriter management positions. Many certification options are available.

For underwriters with at least 3 years of insurance experience, The Institutes offer the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. For beginning underwriters, The Institutes offer a training program.

The Institutes also offer two special designations: Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) and Associate in Personal Insurance (API). To earn either the AU or API designation, underwriters complete a series of courses and exams that generally take 1 to 2 years.

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors offers an introductory course in basic insurance concepts: the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). The American College of Financial Services offers the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) certification.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Underwriters must be able to evaluate information from a variety of sources and solve complex problems.

Decisionmaking skills. Underwriters must consider the costs and benefits of various decisions and choose the appropriate one.

Detail oriented. Underwriters must pay attention to detail, because each individual item on an insurance application can affect the coverage decision.

Interpersonal skills. Underwriters need good communication and interpersonal skills because much of their work involves dealing with other people, such as insurance agents.

Math skills. Determining the probability of losses on an insurance policy and calculating appropriate premiums require mathematical ability.

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Personal Lines Underwriter Career Paths

Personal Lines Underwriter
Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Account Manager
Manager, Account Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Team Leader Account Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President Vice President And Manager
Vice President Operation Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Commercial Underwriter Account Executive Relationship Manager
Business Relationship Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Manager Assistant Vice President
Administration Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Assistant Store Manager Credit Manager
Senior Credit Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Claims Representative Customer Service Supervisor Senior Account Manager
Client Executive
9 Yearsyrs
Claims Representative Benefit Specialist Client Services Manager
Client Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Claims Representative Credit Analyst Consumer Loan Underwriter
Lending Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Claims Adjuster Claims Manager Risk Manager
Risk And Insurance Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Commercial Lines Underwriter Underwriting Manager
Underwriting Director
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Production Supervisor Line Supervisor
Line Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Staff Accountant Fund Accountant
Client Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Mortgage Underwriter Compliance Officer Safety Consultant
Loss Control Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Regional Sales Manager Vice President & Sales Manager
Associate Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Claims Adjuster Owner Owner And Sales
Franchise Owner
7 Yearsyrs
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Highest Personal Lines Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Specialty Lines Underwriter BRIT Insurance Services USA, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 01, 2010 $105,227
Specialty Lines Underwriter Hiscox Insurance Services Inc. Miami, FL Jan 29, 2016 $75,000
Personal Line Underwriter Aegis Services Corp. NY Sep 06, 2015 $61,212
Specialty Lines Assistant Underwriter West Bend Mutual Insurance Company Middleton, WI Jul 28, 2014 $40,133

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Top Skills for A Personal Lines Underwriter

  1. Personal Lines Business
  2. Insurance Policies
  3. Auto Insurance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed and built out a $14.5 million book of personal lines business through careful consideration of risk and mitigation details.
  • Review of personal lines insurance policies and making underwriting decisions to develop appropriate coverage and rates.
  • Approved or rejected applications for private passenger auto insurance submitted by agents.
  • Maintained strong relationships and provided excellent customer service to agents, internal partners, and policyholders through telephone contact.
  • Researched agency, district, and market data for assigned underwriting territory to identify business trends and opportunities for profitable growth.

Personal Lines Underwriter Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,533 Personal Lines Underwriter resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Personal Lines Underwriter Resume

View Resume Examples

Personal Lines Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

51.4%

Male

38.3%

Unknown

10.3%
Ethnicity

White

64.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.6%

Carrier

8.8%

Arabic

5.3%

Chinese

3.5%

Mandarin

3.5%

Korean

3.5%

Italian

3.5%

German

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

French

1.8%

Occidental

1.8%

Tagalog

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Hmong

1.8%
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Personal Lines Underwriter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.3%

Illinois State University

9.5%

University of Florida

5.0%

Georgia State University

5.0%

California State University - Sacramento

5.0%

Central Michigan University

5.0%

Central Connecticut State University

4.5%

Liberty University

4.5%

Franklin University

3.9%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

3.9%

Ohio State University

3.9%

American Institute

3.9%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.9%

University of Georgia

3.9%

Webster University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.4%

University of Cincinnati

3.4%

University of Washington

3.4%

Ashford University

3.4%

University of Northern Iowa

3.4%
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Majors

Business

38.7%

Insurance

8.8%

Finance

5.3%

Accounting

5.0%

Psychology

4.9%

Marketing

4.5%

Management

4.1%

Criminal Justice

3.8%

Communication

3.5%

Economics

3.0%

Political Science

2.2%

Education

2.1%

English

2.1%

Health Care Administration

2.0%

Nursing

1.9%

Law

1.8%

General Studies

1.8%

History

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Public Administration

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.9%

Other

20.5%

Masters

12.1%

Associate

10.0%

Certificate

4.3%

License

1.7%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

1.2%
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